Emmanuel Chabrier, continued
On the musical front Chabrier was a quick learner. The year 1883 produced not only animadversions on hermaphroditism but also Espana, the result of several months spent in Spain the previous year and demonstrating, in the view of his friend Henri Duparc, an individual style of orchestration that seemed to come from nowhere. But in the years before his death in 1894 he never learnt to tell a good libretto from a bad one, and lavished some of his most beautiful music on the opera comique Le Roi malgre lui, in which, as d'Indy said, people continually come in when they ought to go out and vice versa.
From 1861 until 1880 he was employed in the French Ministry of the Interior; afterwards, he devoted himself to music.
His Idylle from Pieces pictoresque greatly influenced Francis Poulenc, who wrote in his book Emmanuel Chabrier, "Even today I tremble with emotion in thinking of the miracle that was produced: a harmonic universe suddenly opened in front of me, and my music has never forgotten this first loving kiss."